Mena, Arkansas holds many mysteries. This article is one of a series in the ARKANSAS GAZET
Mena, Arkansas holds many mysteries. This article is one of a
series in the ARKANSAS GAZETTE that explores the Mena saga.
This installment tells of Emile Camp, Barry Seal's pilot who died
in a plane crash. Terry Reed in COMPROMISED: CLINTON, BUSH
AND THE CIA claimed that he believed Camp was murdered. No
one will ever know for sure. The story also mentions another Seal
associate, Eric Arthur, who met a premature death.
A question to readers, do any of the names in these articles appear
in the list of Arkancides? If so, a post would be appreciated. Thanks.
"Co-pilot held answers sought in investigation
But he died in plane crash in 1985"
THE ARKANSAS GAZETTE
June 27, 1988
Emile Camp, Barry Seal's co-pilot and a partner in many of Seal's
exploits, could have provided answers to many of the questions about
But Camp died in a 1985 crash on Fourche Mountain north of Mena
almost a year to the day before Seal's death at Baton Rouge.
Dandra Seale, Barry Seal's secretary, said Seal and Camp were to
travel in Seal's Lear jet February 20, 1985, from Baton Rouge to Mena
and later to Miami. But, when they arrived at the Baton Rouge
airport, she said, they found that Seal's jet had been stolen.
"He sent Emile in one of his other planes and caught a commercial
flight to Miami," she said. That was the last time they saw Camp
Records to be inspected
Rudy Furr, the Mena airport manager and the former business
manager of Rich Mountain Aviation, said Camp was bringing records to
Mena for review by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector.
Fred L. Hampton, owner of Rich Mountain Aviation, said Seal was
converting a C-131 that had once been used by the Coast Guard for
"I waited here with the FAA inspector, but Camp never came," Furr
The Piper Seneca that Camp was flying was reported missing about
3:30 p.m. Authorities searched unsuccessfully for the missing
aircraft for several days.
Seal and his brother, Ben, arrived at Mena with two helicopters,
officials said, and joined the search. They found the wreck February
23 on Fourche Mountain about 10 miles north of Mena.
"Barry said he had a feeling that he knew where Emile had
crashed," Dandra Seale said.
The National Transportation Safety Board ruled that pilot error
was the cause of the crash.
Crash came as surprise
A. L. Hadaway, the former sheriff, said he was surprised to learn
that Camp, an experienced pilot, had crashed.
"He could find this airport at night and land without lights;
I've seen him do it," Hadaway, who is also a pilot, said.
Furr said there was little doubt that Camp's death was an
"I've heard murder, that Camp had a bomb on board, that he had
500 pounds of cocaine and that he had $3 million in cash," Furr said.
"You can hear anything."
"Emile was not as good a pilot as he thought he was," Hampton
Seal later testified that he stayed at Mena for a week after
Camp's body was recovered. He was then told by Drug Enforcement
Administration agents to return to Miami, he said.
Another Seal associate, Eric Arthur, a native of the Turks and
Caicos Islands, died in 1984 when he walked into the moving
propellers of an airplane at Seal's island base.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank